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Senate Bill 126 would have done two things. First, it lowered the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6. Second, it required children to be enrolled in at least a half-day kindergarten program no later than 6 years of age.
If passed, Senate Bill 126 would have required parents to enroll their child in school in "the beginning of the fall school term for the school year in which the student becomes six (6)" for the 2012–2013 school year. Since the school year in Indiana runs from July 1 through June 30, Under Senate Bill 126 a child would technically would have been compulsory school age if he or she turned 6 by June 30, 2013. However, there is an exception under Indiana law that would allow parents to wait until their child actually turns school age. This is permitted if the parent intends to send their child to a non-accredited, nonpublic school or if they intend to provide instruction that is equivalent to that provided in the public school (i.e. homeschooling).
As stated above, the second part of Senate Bill 126 would have required parents to enroll their child in at a half-day kindergarten program in the school year the child turns 6. Based on past research, most parents who delay putting their children into kindergarten do so because their children are just not ready. It could be due to their actual date-of-birth, or they just need more time. Regardless, Senate Bill 126 would have restricted parental freedom in Indiana to decide when a child should start school.
HSLDA was opposed to Senate Bill 126 as a restriction on parental freedom on when to begin educating their child.
01/04/2012 (Senate) First Reading: referred to Committee on Education and Career Development
03/10/2012 (Senate) Session ended; Bill is dead
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